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The Weir and Other Plays Paperback – April 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Theatre Communications Group; 2nd edition (April 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559361670
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559361675
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #620,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Conor McPherson was born in Dublin, where he still lives. His plays include This Lime Tree Bower, St. Nicholas, The Weir, Port Authority and Dublin Carol. He has written three films, I Went Down, Saltwater and The Actors, and directed the last two.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By "lexo-2" on November 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
Annoyed though I am, as a young Irish playwright, to admit it, Conor McPherson's The Weir is the best Irish play of the Nineties. It's sharply observed (I love the jostling for position that the men do in the presence of the young woman), beautifully written - McPherson can make even ordering a drink into a loaded moment - and it's a gift to actors. His other work, generally in monologue form, is in my opinion less successful, but that's more due to the contradictory and frustrating nature of the form than the line-to-line quality of the writing, which is never less than excellent. Question is, how in the world does he make it look so easy?
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
I found this play hauntingly original. The quality of writing by McPherson is breathtaking. Every time I read the climactic monologue by the female character I can't help but well up inside. Read this play from one of the most talented young playwrights in years.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John L Murphy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
I haven't seen any of Conor McPherson's plays, but the five dramatic texts here--this a term more associated with Beckett, but I think applies here--work well enough on the page. Others have remarked here how "Weir" does or does not come alive in such a format; relying solely on the text, I think that it greatly depends on the non-verbal cues entirely absent from any of McPherson's work, that under direction (his?) would expand the potential locked into the words themselves. "Weir" takes its time starting and finishing, and the narrative arc that the various spooky stories create comes down well before the play's curtain. It'd take a nimble set of actors for this play to work, with so many set-speeches, but I've heard it's been done!

The other plays here, of which little has been said, are all monologues. In the prefatory notes to "St Nicholas," the playwright directly confronts the problem of and the childlike fun with sitting down in a theatre and being told a long tale by one actor, not two, and so lacking the creation of make-believe action that could ensue. With only one figure up there, it's totally up to that person's conjuring power to bring the words into a shared reality with the listeners. A scary story about a theatre critic who leaves his family and serves as a procurer for vampires sounds as outrageous as the story sounds, yet in the hands of McPherson, it's plausible and even, after a time, mundane. We start to believe the teller, and keep going no matter where his convoluted but orderly narrative takes us.

Similarly, "The Lime Tree Bower" tells an even longer story but with three narrators, who only once engage in a very brief dialogue.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "francinejack" on December 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
i feel that your comments on the master that is conor mcpherson
are very unjustified. one of you talked of the lack of dialogue and over use of monologue; in response to that i would just like to say that you dont have to have dialogue to be powerful and obviously you haven't seen it performed on stage to see its power and humour. as for its constant referencing to alcohol and puke well what else do you expect from a recovering alcholic and im sorry but again if you were to see this performed you would see that this referencing brings humour to his plays but also makes you think afterwards and feel sorry for the characters. it also touchs a nerve as near enough everyone knows someone with a drink problem. im sorry if i seen harsh by defending him but your comments are unjustified and im sorry if the world isnt the perfect place you see it to be but playwrights dont want to write about buttercups and how everything is fine and dandy in the world because it isnt and if it was the world would be a pretty boring place. you know what drink happens, puke happens and its interesting so why not write about it? this man is a master he uses the ordinary and gives you insight into peoples lives and this is what makes him a great playwright not his use of dialogue!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sulema Ebrahim on May 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Quietly disconcerting ghostly encounters. The Weir is a brilliant play to see and reads equally as well! A must read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Burrows on March 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
McPherson definitely deserves credit for being an entertaining playwright. He never gets too difficult or highbrow, yet he has a fine grasp on how to craft a good story. His characters might not be the most complex, but the unfolding events keep you glued to the page. And like a lot of good scribes, he has a solid, dry wit that is sprinkled liberally throughout. His main weakness is that his characters tend to speak in monologs. All but one of these plays are monologs, and even in the one that is not, the characters break off into long narrative bits. McPherson may not be a great writer, but he is an enjoyable one.

"The Weir" is superb, clearly the best thing in this collection. It is about a handful of characters in a pub in the Irish countryside, drinking and telling some ghost stories. As the play winds down, it dawns on the viewer that the real ghosts we have to struggle with are those within our hearts and minds. The piece plays brilliantly with the viewers expectations. I would love to see a good performance of it someday.

"St. Nicholas" is also very good, and wickedly funny too. It is a first person monolog from a hard drinking, sardonic theatre critic, who creates a wild evening while trying to chase down an actress he falls for. He ends up in a very strange situation involving a group of vampires. There are many good laughs here, and interesting insights. Like "The Weir", it presents a dry take on the occult.

"This Lime Tree Bower" was nothing great. Three young men tell their stories in series of monologs that seem to come straight out of an Irvine Welsh book - blue collar youths, a little crime and drunkenness. "The Good Thief" is also very much in the crime fiction vein, and features a petty thug who ends up going on the lam.
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